Modern technology is great, when it works. For nearly every technological and scientific innovation there are applications for the benefit of everyone, and a small group of people who will find a way to exploit it for their own nefarious gains. The internet, and especially social media are fantastic for connecting people, for learning about other cultures and for verifying information, but criminals will use this to identify targets for burglaries. It is up to us to keep ourselves, and our private information secure and safe.
Out of office emails are a standard practice when leaving the office for a holiday, but you should be aware of who can read these. Generally, work colleagues and clients are a low risk to your domestic security, but should you put an out of office alert on your personal email account be aware that, this information can go to anyone with your email address. If you have to use an auto response, keep it general and don’t give any dates or locations away. It is a good idea to verbally tell people that need to know you’re away, so you don’t rely on an automated email response which could give away the fact that you’re not at home.
You may be wondering how criminals can get your email address, and generally speaking all they need as a starting point is your name. They can get this from your rubbish or recycling, then use social media to find you. If your profile page publicly lists contact information then the criminals can get all the information they want from you without you ever knowing. The other drawback to social media is that you can make innocent posts tagging yourself at an airport, with a picture of a pre-holiday drink in the bar and a short sentence about where you are off to, and for how long. We’ve all seen people do this, it’s almost like it’s not a real holiday unless it’s also on Facebook. Posting holiday pictures is in the same league and posting a “so sad to be leaving this wonderful place, back to reality tomorrow” is a great invite to burglars to enter your home before you get back – you’ve given them a warning that they don’t have long left to relieve you of your possessions.
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and all those other social media tools are equally as bad for disclosing private information publicly, but remember, no one forces you to give this information away. Always think carefully about who might be able to see your posts and ensure that you have your settings, set to private if you can.
All technological developments are prone to exploitation. Home security cameras that are accessible over the internet can be hacked, especially so with the out-of-the-box entry level system that can be purchased on the high street. You really need to have a degree of technical nous to set these up so they can’t be exploited, so always use the professionals to install any kind of security equipment. It’s often overlooked, as humans tend to place a lot of faith in technology for the convenience aspect, forgetting about the drawbacks until the lesson has been learned the hard way.
At P&R Alarms we are committed to safety and security, so you can trust us to give you the best impartial advice for your needs and to provide and install top quality, secure equipment for sound peace of mind. Don’t ruin your own holiday by figuratively leaving your front door wide open!